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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Wehrle Drive project declared complete

An Erie County project to reconstruct Wehrle Drive in Amherst is done.

Erie County Executive Chris Collins held a news conference Monday to note the completion of the $17 million, multiyear project.

The project reconstructed and widened a 2.2-mile section of Wehrle from the Ellicott Creek bridge to Transit Road.

The road reopened to traffic in July. County workers recently completed other aspects of the project, including end-of-driveway reconstruction and seeding properties along the road.

The project was primarily paid for with federal funds; state transportation dollars paid for 15 percent; and Erie County paid 5 percent.

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Two forums scheduled on grant application

Citizens can weigh in on the needs and priorities of low- and moderate-income residents living in the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Consortium area during two forums this week.

Housing, community and economic development needs will be prime topics for discussion at the forums. Information gathered during the meetings will be used by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning to prepare the 2012 Community Development application.

The consortium comprises 34 municipalities in Erie County, excluding Buffalo, the towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Tonawanda, as well as their villages.

The forums will also serve as countywide public meetings for Erie County's Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Shelter Grants and HOME Investment Partnership programs.

The forums will be held:

*7 p.m. today in the Depew Village Office, 85 Manitou St.

*7 p.m. Thursday in Concord Town Hall, 86 Franklin St., Springville.

An initial forum was held Monday night in Lackawanna.

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Forum will help those with limited English

A forum explaining how people with limited English have the right to free interpreting and translating to access important government services will be held 4 p.m. today in the Belle Center, 104 Maryland St.

The event is presented by Partnership for the Public Good, the International Institute, Journey's End Refugee Services and the Belle Center. Free interpreters are available, but it's necessary to make a request in advance. To do so, make reservations or ask questions, call Megan Connelly at 852-4191, Ext. 110, or email megan@ppgbuffalo.org.

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School district buys emission-free vehicle

NIAGARA FALLS -- The city school district has purchased an emission-free electric utility vehicle to transport injured student athletes from practices and games, and to carry training equipment and water for games and practices.

School Superintendent Cynthia A. Bianco said the vehicle also can transport senior citizens from parking lots to fields to watch sporting events.